A man dwelt in a very comfortable house, with a large, light, airy cellar. The river ran nearby. One day the river overflowed, the cellar was flooded, and all the hens that he kept in it were drowned.
The next day he bounced off to see the landlord. "I have come to give you notice. I wish to leave the house," he said.
"How is that?" asked the astonished landlord. "I thought you liked it so much. It is a very comfortable, well-built house, and cheap."
"Oh, yes,' the tenant replied, "but the river has overflowed into my cellar, and all my hens are drowned."
"Oh, don't let that make you give up the house," the landlord reasoned, "try ducks!"- Frank Boreham, Mushrooms on the Moor, circa 1930
When I think flexibility, I think "try ducks", Silly Putty, chameleons, Chuck Berry, and Catch Your Limit's incredible team of Super Flexies. How about you?
Originally Written for ASAE Professional Development Forum Online
“It’s difficult to remember the objective is to drain the swamp when you’re up to your butt in gators.”
– Gayle Turner
How’s that for a provocative image?
Our firm, Catch Your Limit Consulting, is headquartered in Tallahassee, Florida and we know gators. You just take a short drive down to Wakulla Springs and there are literally gators all over the place.
Today, no matter where you live, it appears as though “gators” are everywhere you look, too. The flow of cash has slowed almost to a stand still. And, because less cash is coming in, people are looking for ways to make what cash they have go further. Lots of folks are scared and hunkering down, hoping they can ride out the storm. On top of it all, the sheer scope of the situation is beyond most of us mere mortals’ ability to get our arms around. We’re sitting in the swamp, with fog obscuring our view of the situation, trying to decide just what we should be doing. All the while, every sound we hear, we just know is another gator creeping up on us.
The irony is, in many ways, the situation we’re in the middle of today isn’t that much different from any other time. The battle for our time, attention and resources is always a tug of war between the important and the urgent. It just seems like the stakes are higher than they were before this current mess.
As a leader, you’re always forced to balance your long term goals against the demands of the urgent. It’s a daily exercise deciding what issues will get your attention. What can you put off today? What can you delegate?
"I don’t get no respect."
– Rodney Dangerfield
I am going to begin with a disclaimer.
If you don’t think what I write here applies to you or your organization, please, write to me and share how you’ve avoided the perceptions I’m going to disclose here.
Whenever I get to talk with HR folks, they frequently express the same lament. “How can we play more of a strategic role in the C-Suite?”
Well, the current demands for transparency seem tailor made for this situation. HR can play a strong role keeping senior management and the rank and file in sync with one another. Organizations run on trust. Whenever there are communication break downs within organizations distrust begins to breed and from that distrust grows dysfunction.
HR can be the medium for keeping leaders and followers on the same page.
Transparency? What does that mean, exactly?
I have to admit that whenever I've heard the term used before in conversation I tended to think in financial terms. Whenever somebody was speaking of transparency I heard, "Tell me where the money really is." or "How many of us are going to be laid off because of this brilliant new strategy or vision or plan?"
Well, my partners and I initially responded to the term as just more jargon. But, after some discussion and searching on the Internet we’ve settled upon a three bullet "definition" that has satisfied us. Ready? Here goes.
- Candor and